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This project was successfully funded on September 16, 2018

A Sound of Light, Appearing around the Bend

by Barbara Campisi


A Sound of Light, appearing around the bend, will be a large sculptural installation open to the public in early February through March of 2019, at Five Myles, a not for profit art and performance space in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. I will make an all-encompassing maze-like environment in which LEDs form colored lines of light when reflected off translucent ‘walls’, confounding any sense of orientation. The viewers, simultaneously inside the piece, complete it through their process of discovery.  During performances, dancers wearing lights move through and activate the light-based artwork, creating moving lines of light. The installation may be visited during gallery hours; collaborative dance events will be on specified evenings.

The installation is made of corrugated, translucent plastic panels joined together at different angles throughout the space, to create a Piranesi-like maze, occluding the perceived boundaries of the existing walls and ceiling. LED lights placed behind and around the panels transform into colored vertical, horizontal and diagonal linear light. The colored light-lines are reflected onto opposing walls, creating a multiplied effect of colored lines projecting around all of the surfaces. The public/ collaborators/ viewers will be given an LED light in order to create their own light lines on the piece. They try to orient themselves by investigating all angles, discovering how different light-lines are concealed and revealed, depending on their vantage point and focus, and where they shine their lights. 

 There will be five events, with collaborators from varied global artistic traditions. Some reign from Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant. With LED lights embedded in their costumes, the performers will move throughout the installation, acting as a catalyst for change in visual activity. Their moving lights will create new light-lines-in-motion on the panels, interacting with existing lines of light, and creating new relationships, color mixing, and visual conundrums. The viewers may see the dancers fully revealed in close proximity or hidden behind panels as moving, nebulous forms.  With live drumming accompaniment, dancers from Haitian, African, Cuban, Middle and Southeast Asian traditions will interact with the piece and public. One goal is to showcase the richness of a variety worldwide expression, and to create a platform for the immigrant voices here, generously sharing their traditions.

I aim to invite a true investigation by the viewer, to compel people to observe and discover, to draw attention to the feeling of bodies in spatial relationships, and to carry this new way of seeing into the world.

The piece will reach a broad audience: the general public, the art-viewing public, the passerby, people of all ages and races, particularly the underserved. I am thrilled that Five Myles Gallery has offered to show this piece. As a venue with a 20+ year history of showing art and performance, and providing opportunities to the local community of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, as well as a broad audience of general public and art lovers, the goals of the venue are in perfect consonance with mine.

Funds raised here will go toward purchasing materials: Corrugated plastic panels, joiners, LED lights and electronics.  And to paying all of the collaborators: the assistant, the artist, the LED  technician, the performers, and the videographer. 

Early this summer I will be constructing the piece in my studio, which has been prepared for the event, and about a month later, the LED technician will begin to solder the lights, according to my composition.  This will continue throughout the fall.  In the early fall, the dancers will be invited to move throughout the piece in the studio, working out their choreography. Installation begins at the gallery in January of 2019, and the piece opens to the public in early February, continuing through mid-March. Performances will be held at specified intervals throughout this time. You will get the invitations!

Please donate today to support A Sound of Light, appearing around the bend, and help us make this happen!


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